Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 20:45
The English Department at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) celebrated the launch of a new major and minor academic offering in Translation on November 23, 2021 with an event featuring academics and practitioners from the field.
The event began with a series of poetry readings and translations by an AUIS student of works from poet, writer, and AUIS professor Dr. Choman Hardi, and an excerpt from a recent publication of poems and translations of famed Kurdish poet Nali by Kashkul, the AUIS Center for Arts and Culture.
The launch also included a translation competition for AUIS students, in which participants were tasked with translating a short, specially written piece of literary English into their native language. Thirty-one students submitted translations in four different languages. Four students were awarded in four separate categories:
- Best Translation by a First-Year Student: Delav Ibrahîm
- Best Kurdish Translation: Soma Jalil Jamal
- Best Arabic Translation: Juman Museeb Saber Al-Omari
- Overall Grand Champion: Juman Museeb Saber Al-Omari
Guest speakers included Harem Majeed from the University of Sulaimani who spoke about digital translation and the future of the translation industry; Sabir Rasul from the University of Human Development who about freelance translation and working abroad as a translator; Dr. Kazi Saleh from AUIS and Charmo University who spoke about translation at AUIS; Dr. Andrew Slater from AUIS who introduced Kashkul and opportunities for translation work on the AUIS campus; and Alan Warger who spoke about running a translation agency in Sulaimani and job opportunities for translators in the city. During a Q&A session after the presentations, students and audience members had the opportunity to ask questions about practical, professional, and theoretical elements of Translation as a practice and a career.
“The event brought people from different areas of translation together. Having all those people and agencies of translation was a great opportunity for the students to talk to and ask them questions about how translation can be pursued as a profitable, yet enjoyable career,” said Dr. Kazi Saleh, a translation instructor at AUIS.
She added, “I am planning to hold similar events at AUIS in the future because students quite often lack sufficient information about translation as a career and the interdisciplinary nature of translation as a field of study.”
AUIS student and competition winner Juman said she participated in the event because she finds translation to be a fun hobby. “We need to have this kind of event at the University to encourage more students to take part and think of different majors.” Juman was one of thirty students who submitted translations for the competition.
Another student who did not want to be identified said, “If the competition had been open longer, more students would have participated. Hopefully, the department will do more competitions of this type in the future.”
English Department Chair Dr. Ali Chetwynd shared his evaluation of the event and competition, saying, “Yes, this first version of the translation competition was a bit of a rush in a busy semester, but we still got some great submissions and had worthy winners. We definitely want to do this again next semester, and then every year, with a longer period of time for students to work on their translations before they enter, and with judges in more languages.”
“In the meantime, anyone interested in translation can take TRN 310 (Beginning Consecutive Translation Technique) next semester, and can send me an email if they have any questions about the major or minor in Translation,” he added.
The Translation major and minor were approved in 2019, but the official launch was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A full audio recording of the event can be found here >>
Written by Ghazala Jango